Sometimes you have to grow up to appreciate what you had as a child. When we were growing up in a small town in Central Texas, I puzzled over the destination of the cars that drove down the highway with such speed. Where were they rushing to? What lay up ahead in the big cities? What was there? It had to have been more interesting than the life we were leading. Everything was quiet where we lived and still, and it seemed nothing ever happened.
I remember a small town with graveled streets except for Main St. which had inlaid bricks. When it rained we played in the ditch in front of our home. We also caught crawfish after a big rain and spent afternoons playing with them.
We named our hens, at least one for each one of us. My brother Ben’s hen was mean and tried to peck everyone around. The rest of the hens sought nothing more than to eat, scratch on the dirt and move on and mind their own business. I was allowed to feed the tiny, yellow, chicks, a job I loved.
Betsy, our cow, docile as she could be produced a wonderful calf from time to time. Besides the fact she provided us with milk and butter, she was the most peaceful animal we owned.
I taught myself to sew and made my little sister several garments which she wore with pride. I also taught the two younger children how to ride my bicycle and trembled as they wobbled down the sidewalk.
Mama gave me free rein in the kitchen and I tried all sorts of recipes. Many failed as I didn’t know how to measure properly. Mother didn’t mind the failures. She applauded my efforts. In time I took Home Economics and succeeded in baking.
I also planted a small flower garden. Again, Mother praised my efforts.
I just didn’t know the quiet life we led and the simple activities we were involved in were so joyful and many years later would rush back into my memory bank like a sudden rain shower. And just like the rain showers that clean the air, those memories replenish my mind and make everything seem better.